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Rim Fire

Yosemite Fire

Photo credit: KTXL

A massive wildfire burned hundreds of square miles in Yosemite National Park and the Stanislaus Forest, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

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GROVELAND, Calif. — On Day 10 of the Rim fire — even as the blaze scorched its way deeper into the northern end of Yosemite National Park — firefighters got their first small break Monday against massive forces of nature.


Dusty LaChapelle from the El Dorado County Fire District moves away from the fast-moving Rim Fire on Sunday. His crew managed to keep the flames away from livestock. (Credit: Dan Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

As the fire reached higher elevations, climbing out of steep ravines, crews could take their stand on more level ground. Huge air tankers could finally drop retardant on accessible ridges.

The fire has charred a swath of nearly 161,000 acres — including about 21,000 acres inside the park. It has destroyed at least 23 structures, and threatens two groves of giant sequoias and historical structures in the famed park. But about 25 miles away, the tourist magnet of Yosemite Valley remained safe, surrounded by its famed granite walls.

The fire is burning hotter and faster than any in modern Sierra Nevada history, firefighters say. Officials say it is the California wildfire they have warned about for years, as modern firefighting techniques have snuffed out forest fires, allowing fuel to build up on the mountain floor.

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (CNN) — A northern California wildfire that’s threatening Yosemite National Park grew to historic proportions early Monday, becoming the 13th largest in state history, state fire authorities said.

Yosemite Fire

Photo credit: KTXL

The sprawling Rim Fire, which has devoured more than 149,000 acres, has scorched an area about the size of the city of Chicago while more than 3,400 firefighters try to rein it in.

Susan Loesch and Curtis Evans just started settling into their second home in California’s Sierra foothills a few months ago. Now, they’re worried it could go up in smoke as the massive wildfire spreads.

“This is kind of a little paradise up here for us. … To think this would all be gone would be devastating,” Evans told CNN on Sunday.

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GROVELAND, Calif. — Each time the breeze picked up, Lee Bentley of the U.S. Forest Service squinted and took a look at the smoke cloud forming over the Rim fire.

Yosemite Fire

Photo credit: KTXL

Conditions on Sunday were eerily similar to how one of the largest wildfires in recent California history exploded in the first place.

It was first spotted on a ridge in the Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17 by a plane flying to another small fire. An air team was called in and dropped water until nightfall.

“Things looked good. We were feeling we had it pretty much under control,” Bentley said.

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — The Rim fire, which has scorched more than 125,000 acres and spread into Yosemite National Park, should pose less of a threat to the power supply of San Francisco as firefighting efforts continue through the weekend, officials said.

The fire, which is only 5% contained, destroyed nine structures and is threatening 4,500 more, according to a recent update by the U.S. Forest Service.


The Rim fire has burned 125,000 acres and breached Yosemite National Park.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown extended a state of emergency to include the city and county of San Francisco because of the threat to utilities —  which caused damage to the electrical infrastructure serving the city and county of San Francisco.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission was forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations because of the fire and shut down transmission lines that bring power to the San Francisco area.

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – A large wildfire in California is now burning inside Yosemite National Park, the U.S. Forest Service said Friday.

Yosemite Fire

Photo credit: KTXL

The Rim Fire has burned 105,620 acres, Forest Service spokesman Bjorn Fredrickson said. The fire is only 2% contained.

The part of the fire burning inside Yosemite is a remote wilderness area, but smoke could be an issue for visitors, depending on where they are camping, he said.

The immediate impact on the park is the continuation of a road closure that is resulting in a half-hour detour for visitors trying to enter from the west.

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